TWR’s John Summerville and Lauren Libby, far left and far right, joined YNOP’s Roger Lonnquist and Carlene Prince for the March campaign.
Far apart in terms of geography and size, two Christian broadcasters were united in their determination to tell the people of Cuba about Jesus Christ.
Your Network of Praise (YNOP), with multiple outlets close to the frequently frigid northern U.S. border, and KMOC, a thriving solo station in the Sun Belt, recently raised thousands of dollars for the TWR Cover Cuba with the Gospel project. By boosting its transmitter on the island of Bonaire to almost 500,000 watts, TWR (also known as Trans World Radio) will be able to beam gospel programs northward across all of Cuba and southward deeper into Brazil.
“Quite simply, we saw that there was a great need to reach Cuba and other regions with Christian radio, and TWR was doing something about it,” said General Manager Roger Lonnquist of YNOP, based in Helena, Montana. “… We also knew that we could trust TWR to get the maximum ministry value out of each dollar we could provide.”
YNOP raised $30,265 during a six-hour campaign on March 9, 2015, with TWR President Lauren Libby and TWR Radio Station Partnerships Director John Summerville joining the network’s on-air hosts. That exceeded the $25,000 challenge gift provided by a friend of TWR in Tennessee.
Unlike YNOP, KMOC had never mounted a campaign to raise money for a project outside its home community of Wichita Falls, Texas. But on two days in February 2015, the 3,000-watt FM station placed Cover Cuba with the Gospel before its listeners and was gratified when they contributed $6,000 to the cause.
“We focused on getting the gospel to Cuba with a clear, strong signal, and people responded,” KMOC General Manager Keith Sanderson said. “We had no idea what kind of response we might get, but I knew our listeners are very mission-minded, very kingdom-minded. They’re not turned inward but are reaching out.”
Both managers had personal encounters with the upgrade project when they traveled to the Caribbean with TWR representatives, Lonnquist visiting Cuba and Sanderson touring the transmitter and related facilities on Bonaire. Sanderson said the $3.8 million upgrade, aimed at doubling the potential audience reach of the broadcast signal, is “so large that it’s hard to get my head around it.”
“It’s been a real blessing for us,” Sanderson said of KMOC’s role. “It’s a real encouragement for the staff. We’re a very small staff, and they, like me, like to see people respond. This is money that is going to be blessing people in Cuba.”
Lonnquist’s words expanded on that idea.
“I believe that the church, in general, is desperately in need of re-evaluating priorities about how we use our personal funds,” he said. “As an American Christian broadcaster, I have felt the urgent need to simply ask our audience to consider that, and then be ready to do as God directs.”
More information about Cover Cuba with the Gospel and how to get involved is available at twr.org/powerup.